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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Emergency Planning

This section contains information and resources that people with disabilities, families, service providers, and others can use to become better informed and educated about how to best prepare for a broad range of disaster situations – from emergencies that may just affect you and where you live (such as a fire) to weather emergencies that may be confined to local communities or be more widespread (summer/winter storms) to emergencies that may affect a large section of the country (terrorism). Being prepared can greatly increase your safety, and your ability to take care of yourself during and immediately after the disaster.

Feeling Safe Being Safe

Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Emergency Planning

Emergency Planning Resources directed toward Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (IWASD) and Responders have been gathered in a special section >>

This section contains information and resources that people with disabilities, families, service providers, and others can use to become better informed and educated about how to best prepare for a broad range of disaster situations.

Winter Storms & Extreme Cold: Tips for Parents and Self Advocates

Being Prepared: MN Emergency Preparedness Center, courtesy IPSII Inc.

The California Emergency Management Agency (CA EMA) has developed several emergency planning resources for individuals with disabilities and families. A variety of emergency planning kits are described along with checklists for each kit.

Access and Functional Needs Transportation and Evacuation Planning Toolkit

Minnesota Booklet and Magnet:

Feeling Safe, Being Safe (MN Personal Safety Materials)
Feeling Safe, Being Safe Magnet

Order Print Version

California DDS:

Feeling Safe, Being Safe (CA)
Feeling Safe, Being Safe (CA Personal Safety Materials)


Smart911 is a free service that can benefit anyone, anywhere in the United States, in any type of emergency. Smart911 allows citizens to create a Safety Profile with details about medical conditions and medications of household members, vehicles, pets, and emergency contacts that is shared only with 9-1-1 when a call is made from a registered phone. To learn more about the service and how to create a Safety Profile, go to PLEASE NOTE: Smart911 is not yet available in Minnesota but information is available about steps to take to bring the service to local communities.


FEMA Document:

Guidance on Planning for Integration of Functional Needs Support Services in General Population Shelters.

FEMA's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) is intended to make sure that alerts and warnings are fully accessible by the whole community, including people with disabilities. A multi-platform approach disseminates information through a variety of devices to ensure access to critical information by everyone. But there are still some final hurdles to overcome.

FEMA Guides:

The FEMA app is your one-stop-shop with tools and tips to keep you safe before, during, and after disasters. Stay updated with weather-related alerts from the U.S. National Weather Service. Upload and share your disaster photos to help out emergency managers. Save a custom list of the items in your family's emergency kit, as well as the places you will meet in case of an emergency. Get tips on what to do before, during, and after over 20 types of disasters. And locate open shelters and where to talk to FEMA in person at Disaster Recovery Centers. (iOS App)

Know Your Plan App

Use Know Your Plan to be prepared when disaster strikes! Hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, tornadoes, severe cold, evacuations-this app will help you plan ahead to better protect yourself, your family, your home, and even your pets. Get started by using the preloaded checklists to learn about important mitigation and preparation steps, or create your own lists from scratch. You can set due dates, chart your progress, and include notes with your tasks, and share your checklists with family and friends. Get organized now so you can be ready for what may come. (iOS App)

NOAA Weather Radar App

NOAA Weather Radar is a powerful yet easy-to-use weather station right on your device. Real-time HD animated radar images on a highly responsive interactive map enhanced with severe weather alerts and accurate weather info for your exact location won't let bad weather take you by surprise. (iOS App)

The Red Cross offers a number of free apps for iOS and Android devices:

First Aid: Get instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies.     iOS App Store    Google Play

The all-inclusive Emergency app lets you monitor more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts, to help keep you and your loved ones safe, and includes information on preparedness for a wide variety of emergence situations.     iOS App Store    Google Play

First Responder Tips

Mobile Tips for First Responders was developed by Project REDD at the Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University. Disability acronyms and emergency management acronyms are also included with this resource.

The "Show Me" Communication Tool is a free downloadable app available at the iTunes Store and Google Play. The Tool uses symbols and icons to help individuals with disabilities better communicate their needs and concerns to emergency shelter staff in emergencies.

"Did You Hear Me?" is a PowerPoint presentation, one of a series of ADA online learning courses sponsored by the ADA National Network. This presentation discusses auxiliary aids and services in the context of emergency planning. Slides (PDF)   Slides (RTF)   Transcript (PDF)

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The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.

This project was supported, in part by grant number 2001MNSCDD-03, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.